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Solar Building Design

Solar and energy-efficient architecture – building envelope and system technology

Solar and  energy-efficient architecture deal with the use of renewable energy  and  a reduction of energy  consumption in the construction and operation of buildings. In Germany, 46 % of final energy  consumption occurs  in buildings. 90 % of this is accounted for by low temperature heat (< 80°C), chiefly used  in heating. Renovation of old buildings  has shown  that  it is possible  to save 70 % of final energy  consumption using currently available technologies. In newly built homes it has been possible  to reduce consumption by over 80 % using  the available standard technologies.

Many different  concepts are available:
•   3-liter home
•   Passive solar home
•   Zero energy  home
•   Plus-energy  home

Architects and  their clients thus have a wide range of options to choose from when  design- ing a solar energy  building. For new residential buildings, the three-litre standard is currently the advanced standard; here,  the house  is designed so that  residents can make do with 3 litres of heating oil per square  meter per annum.

Passive homes are a further  development that includes  a ventilation system  with heat  recovery. Both of these  methods primarily attempt to reduce heat  loss. Zero energy  homes have also proven successful in practice, though they have not  been produced in such numbers to make them generally  affordable. However,  a proper marketing strategy could  increase  sales of such homes enormously in the next  few years.

In office buildings, integrated total  energy concepts (heating, cooling, electricity,  light) and the use of passive systems  (such as cooling with night  ventilation or heat-storing materials) can achieve  a 50 % reduction in energy consumption – for the most  part  without adding greatly  to the cost of construction.



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